Saturday, December 6, 2008
[Much more on the criminal case here. See, also, Dominick Dunne, "Fatal Charm: The Social Web of Claus von Bülow", Vanity Fair (August 1985) ("A rich person on trial is very different from an ordinary person on trial. The powerful defense team assembled by von Bülow for the second trial so outshone the prosecution that the trial often seemed like a football game between the New York Jets and Providence High.")]
But mostly, of course, my generation knows this story from the endearingly cynical and well-acted 1990 film Reversal of Fortune, starring Jeremy Irons as one of the era's great movie villains (on a par with John Malkovich in In the Line of Fire and Alan Rickman in Die Hard), Glenn Close as Sunny, and Ron Silver as Claus' appellate lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who also wrote a fine book on the case. (In a small role, catch Felicity Huffman as The Angry HLS Student Who Doesn't Like The Case.)
Query for the law-talking folks: he was charged with attempted murder before. Does double jeopardy now prevent a third bite at the apple?
Joining Oliver Platt and Lauren Graham, the latter of whose casting, you will recall, pretty much gave me a heart attack, are Kate Jennings as Sarah Brown and some guy named Craig Bierko as Sky Masterson.
Quoting from my comments when Matt first posted about the upcoming revival and asked for casting suggestions: "And all I ever do when we talk about Sky Masterson is suggest Craig Bierko, so I'll do that again now." There is rejoicing in Cosmoland.
(Here's a little holiday gift: discount code DOLLS at Ticketmaster gets you 40% off orchestra or front mezzanine tickets.)
Friday, December 5, 2008
ETA: I am informed we have comprehensive investigation pre-dating the NYT.
Six games? Avery has never been suspended by the league before. Sucker-punching a guy unconscious gets you five games, as does a goalie's slashing an opponent in the gut. Four games for whacking at someone's calf. Three games for decking a foe from behind into the boards, and only two games for launching a harsh elbow into an opponent's nose.
Hell, when an NHL coach yelled "You fell, you fat pig! Have another doughnut!" at a grounded referee after a game, that was only a one-game suspension. But say something catty and uncouth about your exes? Six games.
The comments are open for recommendations on your own favorite heists, real or imagined.
* N > 10
I am not shy about ditching shows when they no longer command my attention. After weeks of Heroes and Ugly Betty episodes piled up on my DVR without giving me any inclination to watch them, I finally just deleted them and decided that I'm no longer watching those shows. (No TiVo Guilt in my house.) I have never had the slightest inclination to stop watching Grey's Anatomy. But I have to admit that I'm a little nervous about how the heck they plan to resolve the Denny problem.
Just in case Shonda has accidentally fallen into a J.J. Abrams "oh, you mean we actually need to figure out a solution to this plotline we've concocted and aired on national television??" black hole, I suggest that we help formulate an escape hatch. "I see dead people" is taken, but surely there are other routes we can propose. In this somewhat somber holiday season, this may be the best gift we can offer to the hardworking Grey's writers.
I offer no further thoughts on this matter.
[I have to plug the Dogfish Head Palo Santo, which the New Yorker discussed a few weeks ago. That is one smooth, malty bottle of 12% alcohol.]
Thursday, December 4, 2008
But most of all? Both episodes were just plain funny, playing off what we already know about these characters' insecurities and desires, and moved a lot of balls forward. Ah, the Mennonites ...
Okay, not really. I have some notes.
Jeff - At first, every time they showed the name of his restaurant, another word popped into my head. Now it just pops in there whenever he's on screen.
Melissa - Worst bangs since... when? Ever?
Daniel - There has to be a story behind those beard notches. That we haven't been told the story leads me to think it's either really sad or kind of dirty. Also, "Donald Trump, the richest, most powerful man in New York"? Classic. And when he's ready to "make a frickin' movie," what will it be? "Revenge of Ford Fairlane"? "Emeril Goes to the Gym"? Or what?
Team Rainbow - Yes. That was almost over soon enough. Almost.
Leah / Hosea - Just point the camera somewhere else. Or send Curly the Canned Crab Man home. Whichever.
Carla - What muppet does she remind me of? This is killing me.
Culinariane - Means what, exact... oh. Your name. It's your NAME! I get it.
Tony - "Right Jaws! Some guys are interested in coverages. Some guys are interested in shoes!" Yes, Tony, and the latter belong on Bravo, not Monday Night Football.
That last one may have been mixed in from some other, non-Top Chef viewing.
Pot-shots aside, there are some likeable characters here who can apparently cook to impress the likes of Colicchio and Lakshmi. As far as good TV, Fabio, obviously, gets a gold star for noting on principle that Rocco DiSpirito "is not really Italian." Stefan gets silver for the whole confrontational and snobby Finnish schtick, but if he keeps it up he better watch out for the reindeer / ligonberry / lutefisk snaps. Jamie and Leah look strong enough and real enough to last.
Far and away my early favorite though, is Gene. Up from dishwasher to executive chef and sporting the tattoos to prove it. Love his positive attitude, pragmatic demeanor, ink and sleeveless tees. Halfway though Episode Two I was ready for him to win it all.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
"Lil Wayne topped the nominations with eight, Coldplay garnered seven, and Jay-Z, Ne-Yo and Kanye West each earned six nods. Alison Krauss, John Mayer, Robert Plant, Radiohead and Jazmine Sullivan received five each, and Adele, Danger Mouse, Eagles, Lupe Fiasco, George Strait, and T.I. each received four nominations."
Album Of The Year:
Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends (Coldplay)
Tha Carter III (Lil Wayne)
Year Of The Gentleman (Ne-Yo)
Raising Sand (Robert Plant & Alison Krauss)
In Rainbows (Radiohead)
Record Of The Year:
"Chasing Pavements" (Adele)
"Viva La Vida" (Coldplay)
"Bleeding Love" (Leona Lewis)
"Paper Planes" (M.I.A.)
"Please Read The Letter" (Robert Plant & Alison Krauss)
Take a look; find something interesting.
ETA: Christoph Nieman's portfolio page.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Also three years ago tonight? One of my favorite episodes in Survivor history, which can be summed up in one line: "I hope you all get bitten by a freakin' crocodile, scumbags."
Avery, of course, is also one of the rare athletes to have a rule or infraction named in his honor, in this case because of his screening tactics against Martin Brodeur in last year's playoffs. (See Bill Simmons' partial list here, starting with the Trent Tucker Rule and the Roy Williams penalty.)
[This concludes our hockey-blogging from the 2008-09 season, in all likelihood.]
The mortal lock this year is Rickey Henderson, who is just as much a dick as Barry Bonds or Albert Belle (without the steroids or corked bats) but who oddly doesn't get the old-writer hatred that those two draw.
The guys who won't even get a moment's thought before the writers strike "no," at least in my view, are Ron Gant, Dan Plesac, Greg Vaughn, Matt Williams, and Jay Bell. I think Mark Grace gets a token "ah, Mark Grace, let me look up his stats" before he gets dinged.
Mo Vaughn, who was a very good player for too short a time, won't make it, but he'll get votes because he was good in Boston and everybody who is any good in Boston gets at least mildly overrated -- we'll call this the Dustin Pedroia effect. Jesse Orosco may also get a few votes -- not enough to get him in -- both because he was a key part of that Mets title and because he played so long (24 years) that I had gotten so used to saying "he's still playing?" that it was jarring to notice that he wasn't any more.
That leaves David Cone as this year's lone interesting candidate. He played a long time, won some hardware, and has an unusually volatile ERA+ line. I probably say "pass," but I'd at least listen to the counter-argument.
- A post-Race interview with Dallas and Toni which doesn't shed light on the resolution of the passport issue, but which reveals that Dallas and Starr are currently long-distance-dating.
- Because of conflicts, I haven't been watching Gossip Girl, but Bart Bass apparently has a secretary named Mrs. Landingham, which is, needless to say, awesome.
- Aimee Teegarden is joining the cast of 90210 for the tail half of the season, with FNL having wrapped, thus meaning there's at least one reasonably healthy person in the cast. (They stress that because of the 13 episode order for FNL, this is not a guarantee that the show is over.)
Monday, December 1, 2008
e.t.a. Tuesday, 9:30 am: Via Matt, Michael Phelps is your 2008 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year, and, really, how could he not be? The only reason to pick someone else would have been to be deliberately contrary -- though I have strong sympathy for Jon Wertheim's nomination of Rafael Nadal. (Other staffers' nominees are listed here.)
- Grab the book closest to you. Now.
- Go to page 86.
- Find the 5th sentence.
- Write that sentence in the comments.
- Don't go looking for your favorite book, or the coolest one you have - just grab the closest one.
ETA: Per requests in the comments, frequent commenter Russ has developed the following short story, combining a number of the sentences:
The Fifth Sentence: An ALOTT5MA Story
The girl-rat looked doubtful. A ghostly figure; a specter. Her MTC is $1.2 million of which $1 million is long-term unused MTC. She smelled potential drama, and kept up the pursuit. Defying her father and her neighbors, she sat in the courtroom each day, her quiet bearing lending strength to her husband. Her husband, Edward, attempted to care for the land. He didn't look as though he was on the whole particularly interested in women; or rather he looked as though he was on the whole too successful with women to be particularly interested in them. But he was embarrassed to see people turn and look at him. We always worry that we are copying someone else, that we don't have our own style.
The market rallied on Friday and was firm on Saturday. Business was brisk. Everything around them that had stopped and grown creaky and rusted sprang into motion again. The more she saw the men watching her mother the more annoyed Jacy became. She searched Leafpool's eyes, but they gave no clue about what would happen next, only encouraged her forward with a gentle blink.
Late in the second quarter, after scrambling for a first down, Otto Graham's face was slashed on a savage late hit by the 49ers' Art Michalik. "Don't call the police, please. We'll be right there. Events and concerts are free with park admission."
Envy and cruelty inevitably accompany fame, however small that fame may be. That fact keeps this product from earning a higher rating, but it’s still a good option for normal to slightly dry skin.
- Surprising love for Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, which gets nominations for Best Actor (Michael Cera), Best Actress (Kat Dennings), and Best Picture. (The Satellites do the Globe divide between comedy and drama in picture and lead performer.)
- Doubt does well, with the surprise of Phillip Seymour Hoffman being deemed a supporting actor.
- Life On Mars (US) is up for drama series and supporting actor (Harvey Keitel).
- David Tennant and Jason Isaacs get into the best actor/drama sweepstakes, which is all cable (Michael C. Hall, Jon Hamm, Gabriel Byrne, and Bryan Cranston fill out the category).
- "DVD Release of a TV Show" is a category, and yes, Sports Night--10th Anniversary Edition is in.
A pair of cocker spaniels and their mom are at the center of a legal tussle between a Long Island couple and a Queens animal-rescue group battling over who gets to keep the pups.For more on every law student's favorite cattle, I heartily recommend To Err is Human, to Moo Bovine: The Rose of Aberlone Story, a law review article by Prof. Norman Stockmeyer.
No one knew 3-year-old Haley was pregnant when Edward and Mary Watson, of Northport, took her home in August from Bayside-based Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue.
The pooch had an appointment to return for spaying. But two weeks after Haley moved in with the Watsons, they noticed something was wrong and took her to a vet.
A sonogram revealed Haley was about to become a mommy, with a vet determining she had gotten pregnant long before the Watsons brought her home. That's when things got ruff.
Dolores Rodrigues of Abandoned Angels insisted the dogs be returned. The group filed a lawsuit against the couple Oct. 29, claiming the group has a right to make certain the puppies land in a good home.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
You know what I missed this season? Scheming. Where's my Romber, Colin/Christie or Charla/Mirna -- a team that knows how to push the rules to their limits? We've got some unlikeable teams, but not teams that are unlikeable in any particularly interesting way...
But while I'm thinking about it: in this show's mythology, shouldn't Chase be playing Gatsby, except that at the end Gatsy keeps Daisy and maybe her hot cousins also join them at the mansion? Even accepting everything the show tells us is true, Vincent Chase as Nick Carraway seems like abnormally nonsensical casting.